More in sorrow than anger
4th Oct 2021
I’m writing this blog on the 1st October, the same day the energy Price Cap for the average user has increased bills by £150. According to our exclusively commissioned poll, 70 per cent of those earning under £20k a year are still worried about being able to afford to keep warm this winter.
It’s the end of Warm Homes Week, yet the increase in the Price Cap will add a further half a million to the number of people in fuel poverty. According to energy price analysts, unless something dramatic happens, the next review into the Price Cap will increase it again, by at least as much. Yet, this is the week BEIS officials suggested that they wish to increase the price of gas further still, to encourage a switch to electric heating.
I write more in sorrow than anger at their sheer insensitivity; at their total lack of empathy for those who struggle to pay energy bills; and for those that unthinkingly back the measure, I’m not angry, just sad.
Just because this policy has also been touted by some green campaigners, by energy suppliers, as well as certain politicians, it doesn’t make it right. Examine the logic.
The idea is to make gas more expensive compared to electricity, encourages people to switch from gas central heating to electric heat pumps. But the very Whitehall department that is advocating this also accepts that running a heat pump is more expensive than a gas boiler. Therefore, you pay more for sticking with gas, or more for using a heat pump. Either way, the consumer pays more.
And who can make the switch having received this price signal? The same Whitehall department puts the cost at an average of £10,000. For the fuel poor, that figure is simply not an option; for the majority, it is out of reach. Only those who can afford the technology will fit it. For the rest, the vast majority, it’s just another tax. A tax on keeping warm and more households get to make the unenviable choice between eating and heating. All with the complicit silence from opposition politicians who should know better. Angry, no not me, just disappointed, so very disappointed.
Mike Foster, CEO